What Benefits in Kind Should I Ask for When I Am Hired?
Benefits in kind guide:
There are the classics: telephone, car, company housing. And the others: bank card, service voucher… What is a benefit in kind? Which ones can be requested at the time of hiring?
Generally included in the salary package, don’t hesitate to raise this question during a recruitment interview or an annual appraisal interview and try to negotiate them. Discover our article to know everything about benefits in kind.
What is a fringe benefit?
The ordinary basic or minimum wage or salary and all other benefits and accessories paid, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, by the employer to the employee by reason of the latter’s employment constitute remuneration.
Considered as an accessory to salary, otherwise known as a salary supplement, benefits in kind are part of the employee’s salary package and allow the employee to save on expenses that they would normally have to bear.
Unlike the salary, or the variable part of the salary, they are not paid in money (cash, check, or bank transfer). They are services provided by the employer, either free of charge, or in exchange for a contribution from the employee that is less than its real value.
Most often, it is the supply of food, the provision of company housing, or a vehicle. However, this list is not exhaustive.
Good to know: the benefit in kind may be provided for by the collective agreement, in the employee’s employment contract, or by a unilateral decision of the employer.
What benefits in kind can be requested?
How to negotiate a mobile phone or a laptop?
Cell phones, computers, and tablets are means of communication that can be made available to employees who need them for their work.
For example, sales representatives who travel frequently will necessarily need these working tools.
How to negotiate a company car?
The company car is made available to the employee for his or her professional and personal travel (as opposed to the company car, which is only accessible on working days). It is the use of the car on personal time that constitutes the benefit in kind.
Good to know: the law does not oblige the employer to provide a company car to its employees.
Can I have a company apartment?
This is the prerogative of executives, senior civil servants, or military personnel. Ministers, judges, mayors, gendarmes, teachers, school principals, and janitors often have them.
Because, from the moment the person is obliged to move from one place to another in order to carry out his duties, it is an “absolute necessity” and the employer must provide for these needs.
On the same principle, an employer who requires an employee to travel must pay for his or her accommodation expenses. The provision of company housing constitutes a benefit in kind. The employer must pay all or part of the rent.
What other benefits in kind can be negotiated?
A bank card. Some employers provide their employees with a bank card free of charge, which they can use for their personal purchases
Meal vouchers. If the employer does not offer you an in-house canteen, or preferential or free meals (in the restaurant business, for example).
Clothing. The employer may provide you with so-called street clothes, not work clothes, which you are entitled to wear outside of work hours.
Home-made products. Some companies sell company-made products at preferential rates. Employees can buy products from the factory at a lower price than the public sale price.
Evaluation and taking into account of the benefit in kind
A benefit in kind can be evaluated :
- at its real value ;
- at a flat rate. The lump-sum evaluation is a minimum value. If the collective agreement or the employment contract provides for a higher value, this value is applied.
For company housing, it is also possible that the benefit in kind be evaluated according to its cadastral rental value.
In general, the evaluation of the benefit cannot be based on the remuneration of the beneficiary employee.
The benefit in kind must appear on the employee’s payslip:
- the employer pays social security contributions on it;
- as a component of the employee’s remuneration, it is taken into account in the calculation of income tax and must appear on the employee’s tax return.
Other benefits in kind
Other benefits in kind can be negotiated depending on your needs and your company’s policy. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
- products marketed by your company;
- concierge services (dry cleaning, childcare, etc.);
- the taking care of your meals;
- the possibility of a complementary pension;
- training to boost your career.
While it’s common to negotiate your salary, executives are still too few to negotiate benefits in kind: according to a study, they were only 23% in 2018 to have tried to do so. Yet, benefits in kind can considerably improve your daily life: it will be a shame to go without!
As an executive, you often have the power to negotiate them, especially if your employer is reluctant to give you a raise.
To prepare for the negotiation, don’t hesitate to ask your more senior employees about current practices in your company.
Then think about how to present this as a win-win situation for both the employer and yourself: psychological well-being to improve performance, benefits in kind instead of a raise, a company car that is cheaper than your travel expenses (if they are numerous and expensive), etc. It’s up to you to use your skills and common sense to find the right arguments!